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Monday, 26 May 2003
Page: 14831

To the Honourable the Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives assembled in parliament:

The petition of certain citizens of Australia draws to the attention of the House:

· That under proposed changes to Medicare, families earning more than $32,300 a year will miss out on bulk billing, and doctors will increase their fees for visits that are no longer bulk billed;

· That the rate of bulk billing by GPs has plummeted by 11 % under John Howard;

· That's more than 10 million fewer GP visits were bulk billed this year compared to when John Howard came to office;

· That the average out-of-pocket cost to see a GP who does not bulk bill has gone up by 55% since 1996 to $12.78 today;

· That public hospitals are now under greater pressure because people are finding it harder to see bulk billing doctors.

We therefore pray that the House takes urgent steps to restore bulk billing by general practitioners and reject John Howard's plan to end universal bulk billing so all Australians have access to the health care they need and deserve.

by Ms Hoare (from 133 citizens)